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To Plan or Not to Plan That is the Question by Noor Alaweyat

Even though we are all going through so much, that does not mean we can use it as an excuse to ignore our goals; we must continue to set our sights out for greatness! But in order to do that, it will require planning. Let’s start small.

1. Set goals at the start of every month.

Setting goals at the start of a new month is a great way to keep you accountable for your bigger and hopefully long-term goals.

Set some time at the beginning of each month to reflect on how the previous month went. After all, isn’t the best thing about time going by learning how you can improve your own life? So why not ask questions about the previous month like this:

  • What did I like about last month?

  • Were there any things I didn’t like?

  • What was I hoping to accomplish?

  • Did I accomplish it? Why or why not?

  • What do I want to do differently looking at the month ahead?

When you ask such questions you’re able to reflect, brainstorm, and set some key goals you want to accomplish for the month ahead. Write them down, and come back to visit them at the beginning of the following month.

Watch how your life will slowly start to change.

2. Plan ahead

At the start of a new month, be sure to take some time to look ahead to what the upcoming month entails. Once the events occur, you’re not in a rush to get things organized, because you already took care of it when you planned your schedule! Some of the things you can plan is:

  • Whose birthdays are coming up this month?

  • What social events / commitments do you have coming up?

It’s unlikely you’ll know every detail of what you’re doing for the month ahead, but being aware of what big events and dates you’ve already committed to will help you organize your time, and of course help conquer those goals you set for the month.

3. Manage your finances

So, you’ve set some goals and have taken a look ahead. What’s next? Time to manage those funds!

To make those smart #moneymoves, managing and checking your finances on a frequent basis is a total must. At a minimum, once a month. Use this time to pay down any bills or credit card payments you have to make. How much money will you be making this month? Do you have a set salary? Are you expecting a bonus to come in? Or perhaps it’s tax season, and you’re expecting your much anticipated tax refund to come in. (Which if you are, by the way, be sure to check out this article on 3 ways you should be spending your tax refund this year!)

Then, take some time to project how much you’ll be spending in the month ahead, and set a budget accordingly. Just like you set goals, setting a budget is key to managing your finances. At the start of a new month, set an amount that you’re expecting to spend, and break it down by category. For example:

  • Entertainment = BD 50

  • Groceries = BD 100

  • Cable and Bills = BD 30

  • Rent = BD 375

Some of these expenses will be fixed (i.e. rent and cable), but some of these are variable, so they’ll change month-to-month. It’s key to set a budget for these variable expenses (i.e. entertainment), and see if you can stick to it. Re-assess your financial situation at the beginning of the next month to see where you stack up.

4. Do a deep clean

Kick-off the start of a new month with a deep clean — your future self will thank you. Aside from your regular maintenance, scheduling in a once-a-month deep clean can help keep your place organized, clean, and clutter-free. Make a list of some of the key things you’ll do as part of your monthly deep clean. That might include:

  • Laundry

  • Floors – sweep, vacuum, mop

  • Countertops

  • Bathroom

  • Garbage

  • Mirrors

  • Fridge

Getting into a cadence of a regular deep clean (especially your fridge – everyone always forgets the fridge!) cleans up and organizes your physical space, which we can all agree helps clear up your mental space, too.

5. Devote time for TLC

Everyone’s definition for TLC is different. For me, it’s getting a mani/pedi for others it may be getting their hair done on the regular. Whatever relaxes you, DO IT and DO NOT feel guilty. Yes, you may leave your children at home, but that’s important during a time like this when you just need your time away from the world for a short period of time.

The start of a new month or even the new year is an exciting time to rejuvenate and set yourself up for success for the month ahead.

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